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Politics and the Middle East


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 6
  • Convenor: Dr Matthijs van den Bos
  • Assessment: a 1000-word seminar report (25%) and 3000-word examination (75%)

Module description

In this module we introduce you to the contemporary political evolution of the Middle East, with a particular focus on state-society relations and inter-state relations, at both the regional and international levels.

You will develop a broad understanding of how the contemporary Middle East has evolved since 1918 and be able to identify and examine the key issues dominating politics in the region, including oil, authoritarianism, political Islam, and great powers’ relations with the region and its peoples.

You will have the opportunity to look at the Middle East in the broader perspective of comparative politics and within the wider context of the developing world, highlighting both similarities and differences.

Learning objectives

By the end of the module, you should have:

  • knowledge of the evolution of Middle Eastern polities and societies, as well as external powers’ interactions with them
  • detailed knowledge of key concepts and texts used in the analysis of the region
  • relevant historical and contextual knowledge, including on the international relations of the region.